American Spider Beetle
- Latin Name: Mezium americanum
- Size: Small, measuring about 1.5-3.5 inches long
- Color: Body is reddish brown or black and legs are usually yellowish or brown in color
- Shape: Appears as a spider from above; adults have a ‘humped’ appearance and long legs and antennae
- Found in: Originating in Africa, this species is common in Central and North America. Found in just about every state, particularly in Wisconsin and Texas.
- Overview: Spider beetles are often confused with bedbugs or spiders and love to invade homes. They feed on stored food products like nuts, beans, and dry goods and can live for months without detection.
All About the American Spider Beetle
Because it resembles a spider from above, the American Spider beetle is often hard to identify. It’s small size and reddish-brown color also mean it’s commonly mistaken for a bed bug, too. Spider beetles are scavengers by nature and will stop at nothing to find their way into a shelter. They live for weeks or months inside businesses, homes, and even empty warehouses looking for food refuse to feed on.
This species is particularly hardy and can tolerate all levels of drought and temperature. It’s commonly found in just about every state in the U.S., namely inside homes. Because they can feed on just about anything – wheat, meat, even rodent droppings – they’re able to adapt easily to nearly any environment as long as there’s a water source nearby.
Facts About American Spider Beetles
In search of water, American Spider beetles often gravitate towards moist, rotting areas. They lay their eggs in crack or small crevices and the larvae then hatch to spin silken webs where they mature into adulthood. This feature is another reason they’re often mistaken for spiders. Like most beetles this species is active at night so they’re often difficult to spot and identify.
The most common signs of an American Spider beetle infestation are small holes in packaging or wood. It’s also not uncommon to find dead beetles themselves, or the remnants of their cocoon-like silken sacks. To prevent an infestation exterminators recommend regularly cleaning and vacuuming your dry goods storage areas such as the pantry and applying insecticide to any cracks or crevices in floors and doors. Of course, if you have a persistent beetle problem or need help identifying an American Spider beetle infestation, call a pest professional immediately.